This impressive mussel dish is visually stunning as well as a treat for the taste buds, and you needn't feel guilty about indulging in these chips, they are a healthier version!
Preparing and cooking mussels
Before cooking, discard mussels with cracked or broken shells, as well as those with open shells that do not close when you tap them. After cooking, discard any mussels that haven’t opened fully during the cooking process. It's very important to follow these guidelines to avoid eating mussels that are not safe to consume.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put a small roasting tin into the oven with olive oil to heat up for 5-6 minutes. Slice the potatoes into small ‘chips’, roughly 1cm (1⁄2in) thick. Put into a small bowl with the polenta or cornmeal and combine well so that the chips are covered.
Remove the hot roasting tin from the oven and add the chips. Coat well with the hot oil before returning to the oven to cook for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through to prevent sticking.
Meanwhile, wash the mussels in cold water. Discard mussels with cracked or broken shells, as well as those with open shells that do not close when you tap them. Rinse well under cold water and set aside.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the leeks. Fry for 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic and 1 tbsp chives. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the cider and mussels. Cover tightly with a lid and steam for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and, using a large slotted spoon, remove the mussels and put in deep, warmed bowls (discard any mussels that haven't opened fully during the cooking process). Pour the cream into the juices and gently cook for a further 2 minutes before pouring over the waiting mussels. Sprinkle the remaining chives over the mussels to serve.
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